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McLaren move a rebound for Formula E after "end-of-the-world" exodus

McLaren move a rebound for Formula E after "end-of-the-world" exodus

F1 News

McLaren move a rebound for Formula E after "end-of-the-world" exodus

McLaren move a rebound for Formula E after "end-of-the-world" exodus

Formula E founder Alejandro Agag has described the addition of McLaren to the championship as a "huge rebound" after what appeared to be "the end of the world" for the series last year.

The future of the all-electric single-seater world championship looked bleak last season when Audi and BMW departed and Mercedes EQ announced its impending exit at the end of the Gen 2 period of competition.

The news of McLaren acquiring the championship-winning Mercedes team follows previous announcements of the additions of Maserati and Abt - which ran the former Audi team - to the series from next year.

Asked by GPFans what the move meant for the strength of Formula E, Agag replied: "I think it says a lot.

"A few months ago, sadly, we lost a couple of manufacturers. You know how motorsport is. When you lose a manufacturer, it seems it is the end of the world and the whole thing is going to end in tears.

"Formula 1 had it at the time, I remember, with BMW and Toyota and all those guys at the end of the 2000s, suddenly they all left.

"We had a little bit of that a year ago and there were a lot of comments 'Oh, what is this that is happening?'

"Definitely, this is a huge - I would call it - rebound, with Maserati, with Abt and now with McLaren.

"It is great, it shows the strength of Formula E as its own pinnacle of electric motor racing. It shows Gen 3, which is a huge step forward for us, has the best actors ready to compete in the championship.

"So I think it is a great, great sign for the future of Formula E."

Formula E "belongs on the big stages"

The announcement that the Woking-based team would enter Formula E came on the morning of the Berlin E-Prix, just one round after the sport dazzled around the streets of Monaco, where the Mercedes team triumphed courtesy of former McLaren F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

On the rejuvenation of the series, Formula E CEO Jamie Reigle explained: "The narrative a year ago was: 'What is happening with Formula E? Is the sport credible? Is their tech old? It seems kind of expensive relative to the output you are generating from a marketing perspective'.

"So we spent a lot of time in the last 12, 18 months trying to address those, if you will, vulnerabilities. A new qualifying format, improving the sporting format, we launched the Gen 3 a couple of weeks ago in Monaco and the performance characteristics of that car are pretty spectacular.

"We showed that we belong on those big stages, right? The racing is pretty good, it is a different form of racing, it is exciting racing - I don't know, last year we had 65 overtakes in Monaco. So we are offering a different proposition."

On how the championship has evolved to offer teams such as McLaren a "business case" to join, Reigle added: "We put the cost cap in place which should allow all the teams... there is a competitive balance in that.

"But it also means they should be able to generate a return if you grow the championship so that is all great, and I can say that, but what you need is validation.

"Bringing Maserati in and obviously McLaren...we are really excited to have them.

"When I talk to all the existing teams, they all say they want to race against the best, that is what sport is all about: 'We want to race against the best and we want to beat the best'.

"Next year, the best are going to be racing against the best in Formula E and that is really exciting."

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